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From Saviors to Scandal: Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker [timeline]

The history of American televangelism is incomplete without the Bakker family, hosts of the popular television show the PTL Club. From their humble beginnings to becoming leaders of a ministry empire that included their own satellite network, a theme park, and millions of adoring fans. Then they saw it all come falling down amidst a federal investigation into financial mishandling, charges of fraud, and a sex scandal with a church worker.

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Free speech and political stagflation

First Amendment Law is distorting public debate. We need the Supreme Court to do better. Public political debate in the United States seems to have run off the rails. The gulf between Republicans and Democrats in political opinions, views of the other party, and even factual beliefs keeps growing. Big money dominates the electoral process. Journalists and political dissenters face relentless hostility.

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Banned, burned, and now rebuilding: Comics collections in libraries

Comics is both a medium—although some would say it’s an art form—as well as the texts produced in that medium. Publication formats and production modes differ: for instance, comics can be short-form or long-form, serialized or stand-alone, single panel or sequential panels, and released as hardcovers, trade paperbacks, floppies, ‘zines, or in various digital formats. […]

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Mathematical reasoning and the human mind [excerpt]

Mathematics is more than the memorization and application of various rules. Although the language of mathematics can be intimidating, the concepts themselves are built into everyday life. In the following excerpt from A Brief History of Mathematical Thought, Luke Heaton examines the concepts behind mathematics and the language we use to describe them.

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Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina: an audio guide

Anna Karenina is a beautiful and intelligent woman, whose passionate love for a handsome officer sweeps aside all other ties—to her marriage and to the network of relationships and moral values that bind the society around her. Her love affair with Vronsky is played out alongside the developing romance between Kitty and Levin, and in […]

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1617: commemorating the Reformation [excerpt from 1517]

Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg is one of the most famous events in Western history – but did it actually happen on 31 October 1517? In this shortened excerpt Peter Marshall looks at the commemoration of the Reformation’s centenary in 1617 that further cemented the idea that Martin Luther posted his theses on the 31 October 1517 precisely.

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What do the people want?

It has become commonplace for Government departments at all levels to ask people for their views. It seems as if no new policy or legislative plan can be launched without an extensive period of consultation with all those who may be affected. The UK government’s website page for ‘Consultations’ lists 494 consultations published already this year out of a total of 3,796 since the decade began.

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Breaking down the Internet’s influence on grammar and punctuation [excerpt]

The Internet has become a key part of modern communication. But how has it influenced language structure? Surprisingly, formal writing remains unchanged. Informal writing, however, has seen an influx of stylistic changes. In the following shortened extract from Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar, renowned linguist David Crystal breaks down the grammatical and syntactical evolution of language in the Internet-era.

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Reforming the sovereign debt regime

Since the start of its debt crisis in 2010, Greek citizens have suffered through seven years of agonizing austerity to satisfy the conditions of multiple consecutive bailouts from their official sector creditors – the so-called ‘Troika’, composed of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF or Fund). And for what? What went wrong? There are many valid answers to this question.

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Why we still believe in the state

How do we explain the resilience of the modern state? State power, whether expressed by politicians, parliamentarians, policemen, or judges, seems to be routinely questioned. Yet, the state as an institution remains. The constitutional state is today the universal expression of power despite its constant questioning and its lack of ability to maintain a minimal order in large parts of the world.

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The mystery behind Frances Coke Villiers [extract]

Frances Coke Villiers was raised in a world which demanded women to be obedient, silent, and chaste. At the age of fifteen, Frances was forced to marry John Villiers, the elder brother of the Duke of Buckingham, as a means to secure her father’s political status. Defying both social and religious convention, Frances had an affair with Sir Robert Howard, and soon became pregnant with his child. The aftermath of their affair set Frances against some of the most influential people in seventeenth century England.

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Philosopher of the month: Mary Wollstonecraft [quiz]

This September, the OUP Philosophy team honors Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) as their Philosopher of the Month. Wollstonecraft was a novelist, a moral and political philosopher, an Enlightenment thinker and a key figure in the British republican milieu. She is often considered the foremother of western feminism, best known for A Vindication of the Rights of […]

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A conversation with ALSCW President Ernest Suarez- part 1

We seldom have opportunity to get the inside-scoop on a journal from those who work so hard to make it possible. We caught up with Ernest Suarez, president of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers (ALSCW), the society who publishes Literary Imagination.

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From lawyer to librarian: one woman’s journey

In our household, reading came as easily as breathing. It was a part of our identity, ingrained and passed down through generations of scholars, writers, and thinkers in our family tree. It was a joy and it felt necessary to life. Bedtime stories, visits to the bookstore, talks about books, and buying books on trips abroad with our parents were second nature to my sister and me.

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The switch to electric cars

Much has been written about autonomous, driverless vehicles. Though they will undoubtedly have a huge impact as artificial intelligence (AI) develops, the shift to electric cars is equally important, and will have all sorts of consequences for the United Kingdom. The carbon dioxide emissions from petrol and diesel cars account for about 10% of the global energy-related CO2 emissions

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Trump, trans, and threat

On 26 July, 2017, President Trump tweeted his plan to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. Besides the “tremendous medical costs” that he cited (which is actually less than a thousandth of 1% of the Defense Department’s annual budget), Trump referenced the idea of “disruption.” When I read the tweet, a thought crossed my mind: What exactly is being disrupted?

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